Tajik president says Russia tried to unseat him: WikiLeaks

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The president of Tajikistan kicked out Russian border guards from his former Soviet country because he discovered a Moscow plot to unseat him from power, a leaked US diplomatic cable showed Tuesday.

Russian border guards completed their withdrawal from the Central Asian country in June 2005, five months after a series of attacks on government buildings in the Tajik capital Dushanbe.

That December, Tajik President Emomali Rahmon told the US ambassador to Dushanbe the he kicked out the Russian troops because "they were part of the KGB," said the cable released by WikiLeaks on its website.

"I had credible information that they ... were plotting a coup against me," the Tajik president said.

"That's why ... I disbanded the presidential guard and told (then Russian president Vladimir) Putin forcefully his border guards had to go," the cable quoted Rakhmon as saying.

He also accused Russian officials of never providing Tajikistan with the technical assistance necessary to help fight the major drug problems plaguing the country.

"They want to keep us weak so their buddies could play games and make fortunes dealing drugs."

There was was no immediate comment to the allegations from Moscow.

© 2010 AFP

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